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Sleep and Its Impact on the Modern-Day Workplace


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January 3, 2019

By: Jackie Edwards

About $63 billion in the US economy is lost annually in productivity due to insomnia, as reported on the Good Body website. The average amount of sleeping recommended by doctors for anyone is 8 hours. However, most modern-day workers sleep a few hours less, leading to sleep deprivation. As a result, employers are beginning to notice the impact of lack of sleep among their workers at the workplace. Sleep deprivation negatively impacts the workers' performance and overall productivity.

As a business owner, understanding sleep and its impact on workplace safety, employee performance and productivity is crucial. Here are some benefits to convince you to encourage your employees to get quality sleep:

Adequate Sleep Limits Procrastination and Improves Creativity

One way of getting maximum productivity from your employees is by encouraging them to have enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can impair your employees' concentration levels and ability to make the correct decisions. It can lead to procrastination in their job assignments due to fatigue, reducing efficiency in the workplace. However, well-rested employees are more focused and make the right decisions at their workplaces. Quality of sleep also boosts their cognitive and creative skills, which improves productivity in the process. An organization such as Google offers "nap pods" for their employees to rest and recharge their energy during the short breaks.

Enhanced Workplace Safety

Sleep-deprived employees are likely to suffer workplace accidents more than their counterparts. According to recent studies, insomnia significantly contributes to work-related errors and accidents among employees. Due to the occurrence of accidents related to sleep deprivation, many companies have made proper rest and sleeping a priority for their employees. This has gone a long way into enhancing overall work productivity and significantly reducing accidents.

Enhanced Performance and Reduced Employee Absenteeism

Sleep deprivation has led to deteriorating health among workers, resulting in them taking days off at work. Furthermore, health conditions such as diabetes, stroke, chronic fatigue, and dementia have been reported in employees who lack adequate sleep. Quality sleep equates to enhanced work performance by employees across all sectors and reduced absenteeism. It has also shown to improve employees’ impulse control, problem-solving skills, the ability to grasp and retain information, emotion management, focus, and other complex brain functions. Companies such as Aetna provide their employees with cash incentives to encourage them to sleep the minimum seven hours daily.

Sleep Boost Employees Morale

Typically, many people who are deprived of enough sleep are grumpy and irritable. With employees, it’s riskier due to their hectic work schedule. That increases the probability of them suffering depression which kills productivity. Contrastingly, well-rested employees have better mental and emotional health that leads to improved working relationships among coworkers. Investment giants such as Goldman Sachs have brought in trainers to educate their staff on the importance of sleep to their output. Nonetheless, a happy, well-rested workforce tends to be more productive than sleep-deprived employees.

It’s vital for employees to get quality sleep. Better workplace productivity starts with the employers recognizing the value of proper rest and sleep in ensuring that employees aren’t overworked. By prioritizing on quality sleep, both employers and employees stand to benefit in many ways. Therefore, do consider adopting healthy sleeping habits into your daily working life.